Household Rules and Good Behavior/Deed Cards for Children 4 - 12

Our House Rules
Our House Rules

House Rules for Children

I know as a parent enforcing the house rules is a daunting task. I have two 9 year olds, a 6 year old, and a 2 year old. Everyday there seemed to be more and more screaming in my home. Most of the screaming came from me and my daughter. I have had so many rule posters hung on my cellar door over the years and none of them worked for our family. I was recently talking to someone about the chaos in our home and the constant yelling and misbehaviors. I am at the end of my rope and need something to change really quick. The idea this person gave me made total sense and I would like to share it.

First let me say that as a parent I do have to admit some fault to my children's behaviors. The yelling was taught to them by myself because I tend to yell to be heard. My daughter mastered this behavior, she will constantly scream back at me, and not necessarily in a rude way, but more or less to be heard. Also I noticed the kids often tend to sound exactly like me in certain ways, because I have taught them to do so. Now I know everything is not my fault and children do misbehave, but it is my job to single out these bad behaviors and teach them good behaviors instead.

You need to sit down with your partner and really think hard about what you want your household to be like. You both need to be on the same page and in complete agreement for this to work. Try to write out the rules in a positive manner, I know it is hard with some things, but for the most part be positive. Instead of a bunch Do Not rules try to write them how you would like them to behave. Here are our House Rules.

  1. There is no yelling at each other in our home.
  2. We do not tease or hit others. We will be kind to each other and not call each other names.
  3. We will not throw things.
  4. We will take turns and share with each other.
  5. We will listen and do as we are told to the first time it is said to us.
  6. We do not interrupt someone when they are talking. We will wait our turn to talk.
  7. We will clean up after ourselves.
  8. When we are told to stop doing something we will keep our comments to ourselves.
  9. We will use nice words and use our manners.

Every household is different and every child is different, so just configure your rules to fit your household and children.

Every time one of these rules are broken the kids are to pull the number of good deed cards associated with the broken rule. (I will explain these next) So there are no surprises with punishments and it eliminated the "that's not fair" cries from my kids.

Good Deed Cards
Good Deed Cards

Good Deed Cards

 The good deed cards consist of positive behaviors and also chores that are to be done if a rule is broken.  Each rule is followed by a number.  The number tells the child how many cards they need to pull and complete.  Each card has a duty written on it that will take around 15-20 minutes to complete.  Some of the deeds I have used are:

  • Play a game with a younger sibling
  • Educational paper
  • Read a book in your room
  • Clean your bedroom
  • Sweep the kitchen floor
  • Gather dirty laundry from all bedrooms

You can be creative, just make sure it is something your children are capable of accomplishing.  Also the numbers after the rules help if your child refuses to pull the cards.  If they do not want to pull the good deed cards they are in turn grounding THEMSELVES to their bedroom.  Each card equals 15 minutes in our house, so if they were to pull 2 cards they will have to sit in their room for 30 minutes.  I found this works well because the timing is always consistent, and nobody feels they are being treated unfairly.  I  alos like the fact that it is themselves that are punishing them to their room, not me.

So it you break the rule, you can pull the cards or go to your room for the required time, everyone knows the rules and has the same consequence for breaking the rules.  No more guess work or trying to remember what another kid had to do in the past so you keep it fair. 

 

Involving Everyone

 The house rules should apply to EVERYONE in the house.  The parents should also pull the good deed cards if they have broken any of the rules.  Also it teaches the kids that even parents misbehave and have to face consequences for their actions as well.  By doing this you are teaching your children to follow the rules and helping to calm the chaos you helped to create.

More by this Author


Comments 18 comments

chspublish profile image

chspublish 6 years ago from Ireland

You're so right about all of above.


bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 6 years ago from Bartlett, TN

Hi Jill:

As yourself I was once a screamer. One day my oldest in a very mild tone voice asked me "why do you

scream all the time?" I stood there and thought to myself, "why am I doing this" and couldn't come up with an answer. So I stopped. Although my children are now grown. I had to learn not only to talk but to listen.

I had to learn that raising children is a process that is not over night and it doesn't end at age 18. Then, as parents, we go to another level.

Yes, I too had house rules and my children were very disciplined. They tell me now how much they appreciate my strictness and the high standards I set for them. When they were young many house rules were difficult to follow but because I stuck to them in time they all learned to respect them. Just keep in mind that each child is different and will at times must have "tailored" conversations or rules to fit him or her.

Keep up the good work! Even in difficult times.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 6 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

chspublish--Thanks for reading and commenting!!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 6 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

bettybarnesb--You are absolutely right. I sometimes wonder how much easy it would be if each child came into this world with their own set of instructions!!:) Each child is very different and we do speak with them one on one with certain issues. These rules for us are the basics that each and every one of us need to improve on. But I am sure as these times get under control, new things will arise and we will start over again.

I hope when my kids are grown they too will appreciate what I am trying to do for them and not think I was just a horrible mom!!!


bettybarnesb profile image

bettybarnesb 6 years ago from Bartlett, TN

You sound like a "great" mom. You are focus on your responsibilities as a mother. That is very important. I can tell that you will always rise to the occasion.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 6 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

bettybarnesb--Thank you for your kind words. All I can do is try my best and at the same time hope for the best!!


prairieprincess profile image

prairieprincess 5 years ago from Canada

JillKistow, thank you for this ... it is a great idea, and I have never heard of the card idea. I'm not sure how it work with a teenager, but I like the idea, and will mention it to my sister, who has two girls, 9 and 11. Great hub!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

prairieprincess--Your Welcome, It may work well with a teenager because they will know the consequence every time. If they don't do the chores then they ground themselves to their room. (That way you are not sending them to their room but instead they are)


Kari Winchester profile image

Kari Winchester 5 years ago from Ontario, California

Fabulous idea, and very well organized! I find that offering procedures clarifies for the child what they should be doing. They are more willing to go with the program when they are clear on what and even why! Great hub! Voting up!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 5 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Kari Winchester - It does help tremendously when the kids know in advance what the consequences are to their actions. It makes it easy for them to understand when there are not so many surprises.


Vanessa Anderson profile image

Vanessa Anderson 5 years ago from The Sunshine State

I absolutely love this! Great ideas and I might have to incorporate some of them into our house rules as well. My daughter is very strong willed and we tend to butt heads occasionally so some of these ideas would be great to use for myself, as well as her. Thanks for sharing!


Meghan 5 years ago

Wow. This Hub was absolutely full of good ideas. I will most definitely try to incorporate the Good Deeds cards into my home. Over the years I have found that different sets of rules apply to different aged children. So, we usually have some rules that change with the children as they grow. Also, in my house we have some rules that are never written down. The children are simply expected to do them day in and day out, like: Obey your parents, follow the 10 Commandments, use your manners... things like that. Thanks so much for posting this! God Bless.


Nicole Marino 4 years ago

When they send themselves to there rooms do you make them do the deeds when they come out or its instead of doing the cards? i love the idea.


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 4 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Nicole - When the child sends themselves to their room they are giving themselves a harsher punishment rather then just doing the deeds. You can decide how you would like to do it. In our home they have the option to either do the deeds or sit in their room. If they choose to go to their room then they are not expected to do the deeds. Thanks for reading and commenting!!!


EmilyPunjack507 profile image

EmilyPunjack507 3 years ago

I am SO doing this with my daughter! Great idea!


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 3 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

EmilyPunjack507 - It works very well!! I found it helps reduce any suprises when assigning consequences for any rules that are broken.


tara 2 years ago

Jillkostow is it possible for u to email me and give me a hand with info and advice ..plz


JillKostow profile image

JillKostow 2 years ago from Pennsylvania Author

Tara you can send me an email.

Jillkostow@gmail.com

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working